I am a complete beginner, starting to learn to fly. So far I managed to control the altitude and do some basic turns, I can also do figure eights if the flags are well far from each other.

I realised that a trick to go around flags and objects is to use them as a visual reference, what I mean with this is to have them at sight at every moment. This trick for me works with flags, trees and objects that are well apart from each other. But when I try going through gates I struggle a bit, I can go through gates that don't have sharp turns or where the gates are well far away from each other.

What kind of visual reference do more experience pilots use when racing? Where do they look at to when turning and going through gates? I feel I am looking at the wrong places and that's why I keep crashing.


1 Answer 1


When you're racing around a course, you're not just using visual references. You're using your knowledge of where everything is from having flown the course before many times.

If you watch videos of other people flying through gates (or around trees, or whatever) you often can't tell where they're planning to fly, yet the quad still curves around smoothly and the gate/gap only appears at the last moment. There's no last minute wobble as they hurriedly adjust their course because they've flown that same course so many times.

If you just set up a few gates and try to fly around 'freestyle', it's really hard. However, if you fly the same sequence of gates repeatedly, you'll find yourself getting smoother and faster with every battery. Don't try to fly faster, aim to fly as smoothly as possible and hit the gates as central as possible, and then your speed will naturally improve. You'll learn that after some gates you need to turn hard for the next one, and after others you set up a smooth curve that naturally takes in one gate while lining up for the next one.

If you set up the same course each session, you'll notice even quite small differences in the position of the gates because a path that would previously have lined you up nicely for the next gate no longer works and needs to be re-learnt.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh I see, yes it's true, If they race again and again the same course also there's a lot of muscle memory involved. $\endgroup$
    – sfrj
    Oct 13, 2020 at 11:24

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